LIBERIA: Defense Moves To Suppress New Evidence In “Mercenary” Case

Defense lawyer Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe on Thursday filed a motion to suppress new evidence adduced by the prosecution in the trial of the 18 men accused of Mercenarism at the Temple of Justice.

He said the alleged 18 mercenaries are citizens of Liberia, who were indicted on suspicion that they participated in the Ivorian armed conflict in 2011/2012.

According to the Liberia News Agency, Gongloe said on March 24, 2014 the defense team was handed some documents containing 58 pages produced by the Ivorian government, which the prosecution intended to use as evidence against the accused.

He added that on the same day, the state also submitted a compact disc (CD) containing a recording purported to be an ABC news clip.

The defense counsel, however, requested the court during the trial to place a halt to the presentation of the CD, until an authentic source at the ABC television station or whoever the state considers its author, to certify that the CD the respondent seeks to present as evidence, was produced by the ABC news.

Gongloe also argued that the document which the prosecution intends to use as evidence captioned “international arrest warrant’’ for Neezee Barway, containing 13 sheets, was obtained from the Ivory Coast, outside the jurisdiction of the Liberian judiciary, and hence it cannot be offered into evidence.

He also argued that the evidence obtained by an officer from the Ivory Coast should be suppressed, because it cannot be produced in a civil law jurisdiction where an accused person is not accorded the same right as in the common jurisdiction.

The Presiding Judge of the Criminal Court “D” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Judge Emery Paye, ruled that the motion for suppression of evidence filed by defense lawyers be argued on Friday, March 28.

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